2011 was an amazing year for the WAMS Foundation, but also for me personally. In March, I travelled to San Diego with a group of very supportive family and friends (including WAMS co-founders, Melanie Pump and Jennie deFoy) to receive the CCSVI treatment. The treatment was successful. The Cognitive Fog that I had lived under for 2 years was lifted and my sight which had never returned to normal after my MS-induced bout with Optic Neuritis returned to normal. I could see red again!
One of the other supporters on this trip was Brian Nykon of Captured Films, a documentary film-maker. Based on footage from my experience before and after the treatment he has begun a documentary on MS & CCSVI. The documentary is in the beginning stage, but we’re very excited about his progress and the future of the project.
Prior to obtaining the
CCSVI Treatment, I had worked hard to support and assist MS patients, primarily through fundraising for the MS Society. However, I now wanted to help more directly, which is how the WAMS Foundation was born. One of the first steps in the building of the Foundation was reaching the public, which today requires a website. For that, we thank Lewis Communications, who graciously offered their time and advice. They continue to help us today. For getting the word out, I want to thank Kumiko Umeno for inviting us to her client appreciation evening and introducing us to her community and particularly, a big, big thank-you to Michele Mateus, our first recipient, who has played a huge part in our communications team. Michele is a social media genius and without her Twitter and Facebook skills, we wouldn’t be as known as we are today.
The first WAMS Fundraiser was held on May 13, 2011 and was kindly sponsored by Richmond Autobody. Additionally, I was overwhelmed by the incredible resources and support that were brought to us: the room looked fantastic thanks to the materials provided by Sweet Beginnings, the lighting – (who knew this was such a huge endeavor?!) – was all taken care of by Kitty Hoffman. We also had many, many generous donors contribute silent auction items which helped bring this event to a resounding success raising nearly $18,000. Some of these funds were used to set up the Foundation as a formal not-for-profit, but the majority of the funds went to supporting Michele to have the CCSVI Treatment.
Michele’s symptoms were much more pronounced than mine had been. When we met her she was off work after suffering a major MS relapse that had left her unable to walk. You should see Michele today! She is now walking and living a full life. You can read more about Michele in our past blogs.
The success continued with our first corporate sponsorship brought to us by the Commercial Division of REALTORS® of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver. They helped up raise further funds which combined with the existing reserves allowed us to support two more MS patients to receive financial assistance. Jena and Jane. Both women elected to undergo the CCSVI treatment and have had successful results. You can read Jayne’s blog post about her treatment on our website.
It goes without saying that we are very grateful to these generous sponsors and definitely encourage you to contact them should you require any of their services – please click here or visit the “Sponsor” tab for their contact information. We’d also like to thank all of our wonderful volunteers who have dedicated time to our cause. We are honoured by your dedication and are so very appreciative.